“Orange

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Holidays are rarely just single days. In the United States, people often take entire weeks off for Thanksgiving or Independence Day. Easter and Christmas are entire seasons, in both a liturgical and (unfortunately) a commercial sense. Even Halloween, which has no tremendous religious or historical significance in this country, lasts for a week.

The parties do, anyway; the weekend before and the weekend after Halloween typically both host theme-relevant shindigs, and any day in between is fair game too. This Orange Goblin / Holy Grail / Lazer/Wulf / Polygamyst show fell on the Saturday immediately after Samhain, so Vitus was in costume party mode. Roughly a third of the audience dressed up, or perhaps fewer did, and I merely confused some decked-out metal warriors for people in Halloween costumes. It's hard to tell sometimes.

Since this show doubled as a party, I was admittedly not in full-on note-taking coverage mode, but here are some stray thoughts from the night:

—I turned up just as Polygamyst, who are effectively Vitus's house band, launched into a well-turned cover of "Breaking the Law." The crowd, of course, went wild. Cover songs are a double-edged sword for smaller bands. On one hand, they get great reactions when they're well-executed. On the other, if you're a member of the band, it can be frustrating when the crowd freaks out over a cover you spent two hours preparing after arm-crossing their way through a set of originals that you slaved over for months.

—Lazer/Wulf have an interesting approach to vocals. They're mostly an instrumental band, but guitarist Bryan Aiken occasionally uses a mic to interject little vocal hits and accents. Lazer/Wulf are proficient musicians, but I wasn't especially taken with their stage presence. There's such a thing as too much guitargasm face.

—There's something about growing up in southern California that makes bands better at classic-style heavy metal stage posturing. Holy Grail vocalist James-Paul Luna nailed the gauntlet-clad pointing-and-gesturing stuff, which was good, because his voice was curiously low in the mix. I'm not a big fan of Holy Grail's brand of NWOBHM/speed metal nostalgia, but they're a noticeably above-average example of the style.

—Holy Grail's set ran long, so Orange Goblin didn't get started until well after 11:30 (which admittedly isn't terribly late in NYC, but I am an old man). Still, they kept the room full all the way through a lengthy set of their own. Their metal is like an engine: thrumming, reliable, and built to dominate on the road. And speaking of covers, they played a powerful version of "Into the Void," which you can see footage of amongst the pictures below.

— Words by Doug Moore
— Photos by Caroline Harrison

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Polygamyst

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“Polygamyst”

“Polygamyst”

“Polygamyst”

“Polygamyst”

“Polygamyst”

“Polygamyst”

“Polygamyst”

“Polygamyst”

“Polygamyst”

“Polygamyst”

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Lazer/Wulf

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“Lazer/Wulf”

“Lazer/Wulf”

“Lazer/Wulf”

“Lazer/Wulf”

“Lazer/Wulf”

“Lazer/Wulf”

“Lazer/Wulf”

“Lazer/Wulf”

“Lazer/Wulf”

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Holy Grail

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“Holy

“Holy

“Holy

“Holy

“Holy

“Holy

“Holy

“Holy

“Holy

“Holy

“Holy

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Orange Goblin

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Orange Goblin - "Into the Void" (Black Sabbath cover)

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“Orange

“Orange

“Orange

“Orange

“Orange

“Orange

“Orange

“Orange

“Orange

“Orange

“Orange

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